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26 January 2011

Readers' comment

Three decades of 'reform' and 'flexibility'

Since the election in 1979 of Margaret Thatcher's Tory government the people of this country have been subjected to a diatribe of rubbish under headlines such as 'reform' and 'flexibility'.

Craig Johnston, RMT union executive member

These reforms have led to the privatisation of nearly everything - whether it was the former nationalised companies or public services. There has been a rapid commercialisation of everything and the establishment of a maze of internal markets for almost any function.

We were told this would lead to massive improvements and greater competition, it was even suggested that this competition would drive down costs whilst improving standards. 30 years on all this is exposed as utter rubbish.

Many of our public services have either been axed altogether or they have virtually ceased to exist. Our streets are filthy, our roads are full of holes, the current Westminster regime has just scrapped a school building programme and there is nowhere near enough social housing.

'Customer service departments' ask us how they can help us - then tell us they can't. 'Quality' is a buzzword that means nothing to most people these days.

Everywhere you go you get ripped off, whether it's to park your car in a council car park or buy a ticket to travel on a privatised train.

Costs have rocketed whilst things have got worse - everything now has a cost. Even using a public toilet at many mainline railway stations can cost you 30p or more!

Meanwhile a faceless elite snatch as much money as they can from consumers and the public purse. These are the privateers and their friends, the bankers. This is capitalism at its worst.

Many of our young people are jobless, desperate and increasingly hopeless - many of the old end up forgotten.

Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown have all followed these ideals slavishly and under Cameron and Clegg it looks as if things can only get worse unless we fight back.

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